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Parents' Guide to

Brick Lane

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Weighty tearjerker with mature themes.

Movie PG-13 2008 101 minutes
Brick Lane Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Not suitable for families

The movie itself is good in many ways but certainly NOT appropriate to watch with kids. I cannot recommend this to anyone below 18. Movie starts out with a scene of a mother who commits suicide by drowning which is witnessed by her daughter who narrates throughout the movie. It shows her mother going into the water and the next scene is her body floating and a group of women who rescue her. These scenes can be disturbing to some. There is another scene of the husband climbing on the wife to make love. Then in yet another scene the wife has an adulterous affair with a young man and he is undressing her, both naked in bed and kissing, caressing etc.,although full nude bodies are not shown it is plenty enough to see that they are naked and he is on top of her etc. Acting is good though and bad language is almost minimal. There is a woman who smokes, some scenes depicting racial slurs and a scene where the family is watching the 911 attack in New York as the 2nd plane flies into the 2nd tower. Overall conservatively speaking this is best for adults who like movies that explore cultural and social issues.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

What first seems like a predictable plot is quickly proven otherwise, bolstered by strong performances from nearly the entire cast. BRICK LANE (which is based on the same-named novel by Monica Ali) manages to take on ambitious topics -- love, poverty, feminism, immigration, even terrorism -- and transform them into an evocative, intimate viewing experience. Chatterjee does much with little: Nazneen doesn't have that many lines, but when she has something to say, it's potent. Just the look on her face when she's remembering a rare moment of bliss speaks volumes.

That said, the film takes a meandering route to explore what love means -- and what being a mother entails -- and a few spots don't ring true, starting with the stereotypical portrayal of a usurer. And in the end, when Nazneen appears to finally realize whom she loves, and how, the revelation is hollow. (It doesn't help that the film sets up the man she loves as a fairly pitiful, even laughable, character.) And although theoretically Nazneen's sister is a major character, because she's seen only in flashes, in no time, she almost seems unnecessary. And she's definitely not.

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